Cape Wind Project: Started in 2001, the Cape Wind project is an offshore wind farm that will consists of 131 turbines situated within a 24 square mile area on the south coast of Cape Cod. The peak nameplate generating capacity is 454 megawatts (MW) and will deliver 170 MW on average due to the intermittent nature of wind. The developer, Cape Wind Associates, claims that 170 MW is nearly 75 percent of the 230 MW used by Cape Cod, and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Project cost is expected to be $2.5B.
The Cape Wind project has several issues. These include long development time, high capital cost, high cost of electricity, need for subsidies, and small percentage contribution to overall electricity generation in Massachusetts. Please see the posting of April 18 for reference to postings regarding these issues.
Business Development Issues:
During January 2009, Governor Deval Patrick set a goal of developing 2,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity. My previous post of April 7th determined that onshore wind would only provide approximately 1000MW at most. The remaining 1000MW would have to be provided by offshore wind installations. As of this writing the only potential source of offshore wind electricity is from Cape Wind, which may generate 454MW at most, if it is ever funded. This particular project has encountered long delays, high capital costs, expensive cost of electricity and requires large government subsidies to support an otherwise uneconomic venture. In the future, the cost of wind energy may seem less expensive compared to, say, coal when the heretofore-unpaid costs of coal are factored into its price. These costs include climate change, air pollution, water shortage, wastewater, soil pollution and land degradation.Tags: Cape Cod, Cape Wind, Capital Cost, Development Time, Electricity Generation, Massachusetts, NIMBY, Offshore Wind, Subsidies